Excellent as Xerox presses are, they cannot sell themselves
Let’s face it, there is extremely fierce competition in the production colour workspace. And we have to admit that the standards of some of the competition are quite high. These days, winning a sale can be hard work.
Traditionally, press sales were focused on the machines themselves. I’m sure many of you have heard of the term “box shifters” to describe the production press sellers who were only interested in the number of units they could sell.
The sales landscape has now changed. The only way box shifters will win a sale is on the lowest price. Even then, they are unlikely to win repeat sales because customers expect high levels of after-sales service these days.
Competition in the production colour workspace is fierce. Here’s how to make your business stand out.
To win customers, you have to sell your company as much as the press
Production press resellers who focus on the benefits of working with their company are more likely to build true customer partnerships. This means that the customer is likely to make a purchasing decision that is based on more than price. They are also more likely to come back to the same vendor for repeat sales. In other word, these companies control a better sales pipeline. And they are more likely to achieve higher profit margins.
Companies that focus on the box shifter model are unlikely to achieve the same profit margins. Their sales will be more likely to be one-off. They haven’t created the valuable customer relationships that allow them to create repeat sales and higher margins.
However, many resellers sell their company in the wrong way
Many resellers are advised that they need a more value-added sale. This is absolutely true. However, we need to look hard at what creates a successful value-added sale. Many attempts to add value do not attract customers. Let’s examine three approaches that resellers are frequently advised to take but that do not attract customers as much as they would hope.
The first of these is selling on service. Many sales people will tell you that they are your personal difference. Most companies will wax lyrical about the quality of after-sales service that they provide. However, your customers expect good service as standard. Remember that 80% of companies believe that they offer above average customer service. But only 11% of customers believe that they receive above average customer service. (Source: IoD).
The next route is to sell software as well as the press. Over the years, this route has become steadily devalued. The shelves of printing companies are stacked high with software bundles gathering dust because they are never used. The software is often thrown in “free” with the press so the customer attaches no value to it.
Finally, many sellers claim that they are a “consultative partner”. The trouble with phrases like this is that neither buyer nor customer really knows what this means. So no value is actually given to this sort of model.
Why production press resellers who sell the benefits of working with their company are more likely to build true customer partnerships.
To make the customer seriously consider you and pay more, you need a clear point of difference
To be fair, if any of those three strategies that I have just outlined is used correctly then they can make the sale. The issue is that many companies roll them out in the same way as everyone else and their prospects and customers become bored with them.
If offerings like this are rebranded in a way that sets your company apart from the competition, then you start creating sales success. To do this requires them to be offered as a true company difference. Then you are in a much better position to make the sale. The Xerox press won’t sell itself, but the sale will become much easier.
Look out for my next article where I outline three ways in which production press sellers can create a clear point of difference for their customers.
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